[C] Assignment Week 1

(Please post a response by 7/24)

Below is a list of just a few, common categories of educational resources that can be designed to be student-driven. 

An in-class activity (i.e students are tasked with generating a grading criteria for the class, or for a project)

A handout/A study guide: (i.e students create a hand out or study guide that they think would help other students learn an important topic in the class)  

A video: (students can take a pre-existing video that is either public domain or uses a CC license and edit or remix it with other CC/Public Domain footage)

An essay/article that synthesizes information from  copyrighted articles or textbooks for the benefit of other students. 

For more ideas and information about types of open assignments, take a look at this list of assignments (which is itself an OER!)

After considering these lists, answer the following questions:

1) What skills are most necessary for your students to absorb and apply the content/topics of your class?

2) Which of the above categories (or another of your choosing) do you think would best help them learn these skills?

3) As you saw in the example from the live session, it’s possible to take an existing educational resource and edit or remix it–is this something that interests you? If you were to search for a pre-existing OER to edit, what search terms might you use? 

11 thoughts on “[C] Assignment Week 1

  1. Diana Moore

    Diana Moore
    Week 1 Assignment

    To do well in history classes, I think students need strong reading skills and should be able to read through both primary and secondary sources, summarizing, identifying key information, and highlighting relevant details. They’ll also need to be able to put together information from multiple readings and class periods into a coherent narrative. Writing skills are also significant as I generally have a few short writing assignments throughout the semester as well as a long final essay.

    Out of all of the listed possible categories of assignments, I am most interested in the essay (or maybe a review sheet) synthesizing information from articles/the textbook. Many years ago, I used to have students in my history of sexuality course give presentations on the class reading. I felt like students didn’t really listen to each other, however, and weren’t getting what I wanted them to get out of the assignment, so I dropped it. Having students create a fixed resource like an article or study guide might be better than the presentation, because I could put them into a shared file on Blackboard and students could access it as a resource when needed. That would likely increase engagement as compared to a brief 5- or 10-minute presentation.

    Finally, I mentioned this in my post for this week, but I am interested in having students edit Wikipedia pages. I think this type of assignment would work particularly well for my anti-Catholicism class. The second half of that class is focused on project-based learning, where the students read a nineteenth-century anti-Catholic novel, summarize it, find primary and secondary sources connected to it, and writing a paper about how the novel connects to the major themes of anti-Catholicism. Though most of their novels were popular at the time, there is very little information currently available on Wikipedia about some of the plots and authors and I think they could actually really add something here.

    Reply
    1. Bruce Shenitz (he/him/his)

      The Wikipedia project idea sounds fascinating! Perhaps you could pilot it with just a couple of novels, rather than trying to do an entry on the broader anti-Catholic novel idea.

      I’m wondering if you’ve used hypothesis for social commenting, and having students use it to read primary or secondary sources and analyze/comment on them might also be of interest.

      Reply
      1. Diana Moore

        Hi Bruce! Thanks for the suggestions! I haven’t used hypothesis. I want to, but haven’t gotten around to it just yet. I’m not sure exactly how I’d grade it, which is slightly holding me back. But I have already had the students focus on just a few novels. Last semester they split up into groups of about 5 students each who all read the same novel and were able to talk about it together during class sessions. They seemed to really like the collaborative aspect of it and hopefully that will translate to doing the OER work.

        Reply
  2. Maria Elena Pizarro

    In both my courses I feel students, above all, need to first, comprehend what they are reading, and then, be able to think/reflect critically about the material. International law and criminal justice are so important and relevant to understanding what is happening in the world, that my goal is to have students understand the content of these courses to be able to evaluate the political, economic, social and cultural events they feel are important to them. I also stress that they need to read, think and analyze content/topics of the course from other perspectives than only from a Western, Capitalist or Eurocentric one. I encourage students to be open-minded, question what they read, and above all to consider how other regions and cultures regard the topics/themes under discussion. Multiculturalism, interdisciplinary and intersectionality are not only pedagogical approaches to learning, but acting skills we all need to develop in our thinking and learning habits.

    Looking at the list of categories, the following, I feel, are a good fit with the learning goals of the courses, as well as promoting student active learning:
    -Creating a student-led study guide for the course
    -Video Making: (an informal, informative, and descriptive presentation, for example, of the legal tradition or criminal justice system of a country of choice)
    -Edit and Add to a Course Text : this would be helpful in updating information in the text to reflect recent events, and incorporate case studies to illustrate the theoretical explanations in the text. This would be helpful in making text material more comprehensible and relevant.
    -Create Class bibliography: very helpful to distribute to students doing written assignments. It would help students save time and use the cited sources in their research projects.
    -Class Generated Glossary
    -Video Commentary: researching/selecting existing videos relevant to course, and providing context (historical background, identifying core issues/themes/problems, adding information learned)
    -Real-Life Case Studies: students have so many stories/experiences to contribute that are relevant to criminal justice issues.
    -Projects that Summarize a Concept: a video presentation of a learned concept/theme from the student’s perspective.

    I particularly like the idea of using the course textbook and have students edit and update chapters as a class assignment. One way I might approach this assignment is not necessarily to provide students with a template, but use an assignment they already have for the course and add to it by connecting it to a specific chapter to update in the text. For instance, in the Comparative Criminal Justice Course, students do an oral presentation selecting a country of choice and reporting on any specific aspect of that country’s criminal justice system.
    Specific topics of the course to stress for students’ assignments would be: retributive/restorative/transitional justice, criminal procedures, circuit/appellate/Supreme Court cases, prison stories/memoirs

    Reply
  3. Guido D. Giordano

    My choice would be to have Students working in a collaborative “Short guide to define and identify environmental crimes” for my Environmental Crime (EJS 240) class.

    1) I would like Students to start working from a simple template containing two titles: “An environmental crime is…”, and “An environmental crime is not…”; each to be filled with 5-8 bullet points.
    The reason for this choice is that providing a template gives some degree of unifying criteria to make the shared creative process easier. At the same time, since the template is very short and general, it should give enough space for creativity and diverse innovation, not restricting these positive traits of the process.

    2) It should cover a core and often strongly debated topic: the very definition of environmental crimes (which entitles the whole course, as shown).

    3) Learning Goals are at least the following:
    A) Acquiring scientific knowledge regarding the phenomenon of environmental crime, its historical development and diverse disciplines that study the matter.
    B) Understanding the complexity of the concepts of “environment” and “crime”, and the diverse epistemological perspectives that approach them.
    C) Being able to understand and integrate diverse scientific, cultural, ideological and institutional points of view.

    Reply
  4. Anonymous

    1) The course I teach at John Jay this fall is the very first introductory course in Japanese, JPN101. Based on the current teaching standards, all 5 skills (reading, writing, speaking, listening, culture) are taught from the beginning, but the most difficult skills for many American learners is mastery of the writing system, i.e., hiragana and katakana syllabaries, such as あ(a)、か(ka)、き(ki)、み(mi). Students need to quickly learn the 46 syllabaries since the textbook uses them in example sentences and all other materials after quickly presenting them in charts and lists. Here is a current textbook’s web resource on hiragana: https://genki3.japantimes.co.jp/en/student/hiragana/

    2) I would like students to create a journal to record their experiences of learning them since it is easy for some, but is very challenging for many of them without much experience with the cognitive adjustment they must make in order to be proficient in using the Japanese syllabaries and kanji. I myself learned the writing as a child, and never had the same experience. The practice part of the syllabary reading can be done using flash card programs, such as on Quizlet, but adult learner’s perspective offers insights into how various types of learners relate to the writing system and each syllabary .

    In addition, or alternatively, students can create their own mnemonics for each syllabary, and comment on existing mnemonics. There are published materials in some textbooks, which I assume can not be used because of copyright restrictions. There are online sources, but I do not know https://www.tofugu.com/japanese/learn-hiragana/ (For example, き(ki) looks like a key upside down.) The mnemonics themselves may not be reproduced, but may be reviewed and add responses to each syllabary’s mnemonics. The current textbook does not offer any help in this regard.

    3) The key terms will be “hiragana”, “katakana”, or “kana”. Also, “mnemonics” may be useful in order to find other resources that can be commented on. So far, most of the OER sources on the syllabaries I have found is just a list/chart of the characters.

    Reply
  5. Noriko Watanabe

    1) The course I teach at JJ this fall is the very first introductory course in Japanese, JPN101. As the teaching standard specifies, all 5 skills (reading, writing, speaking, listening, culture) are taught from the beginning, but the most difficult skills for many learners is mastery of the writing system, i.e., hiragana and katakana syllabaries, such as あ(a)、か(ka)、き(ki)、み(mi). Students need to quickly learn the 46 syllabaries since the textbook uses them in example sentences and all other materials after quickly presenting them in charts and lists. Here is a current textbook’s web resource on hiragana: https://genki3.japantimes.co.jp/en/student/hiragana/

    2) I would like students to create a journal to record their experiences of learning them since it is easy for some, but is very challenging for many of them without much experience with the cognitive adjustment they must make in order to be proficient in using the Japanese syllabaries and kanji. I myself learned the writing as a child, and never had the same experience. The practice part of the syllabary reading can be done using flash card programs, such as on Quizlet, but adult learner’s perspective offers insights into how various types of learners relate to the writing system and each syllabary .

    In addition, or alternatively, students can create their own mnemonics for each syllabary, and comment on existing mnemonics. There are published materials in some textbooks, which I assume can not be used because of copyright restrictions. There are online sources, but I do not know https://www.tofugu.com/japanese/learn-hiragana/ (For example, き(ki) looks like a key upside down.) The mnemonics themselves may not be reproduced, but may be reviewed and add responses to each syllabary’s mnemonics. The current textbook does not offer any help in this regard.

    3) The key terms will be “hiragana”, “katakana”, or “kana”. Also, “mnemonics” may be useful in order to find other resources that can be commented on. So far, most of the OER sources on the syllabaries is just a list/chart of them.

    Reply
  6. Noriko Watanabe (she/her/hers)

    1) The course I teach at JJ this fall is the very first introductory course in Japanese, JPN101. As the teaching standard specifies, all 5 skills (reading, writing, speaking, listening, culture) are taught from the beginning, but the most difficult skills for many learners is mastery of the writing system, i.e., hiragana and katakana syllabaries, such as あ(a)、か(ka)、き(ki)、み(mi). Students need to quickly learn the 46 syllabaries since the textbook uses them in example sentences and all other materials after quickly presenting them in charts and lists. Here is a current textbook’s web resource on hiragana: https://genki3.japantimes.co.jp/en/student/hiragana/
    2) I would like students to create a journal to record their experiences of learning them since it is easy for some, but is very challenging for many of them without much experience with the cognitive adjustment they must make in order to be proficient in using the Japanese syllabaries and kanji. I myself learned the writing as a child, and never had the same experience. The practice part of the syllabary reading can be done using flash card programs, such as on Quizlet, but adult learner’s perspective offers insights into how various types of learners relate to the writing system and each syllabary .

    In addition, or alternatively, students can create their own mnemonics for each syllabary, and comment on existing mnemonics. There are published materials in some textbooks, which I assume can not be used because of copyright restrictions. There are online sources, but I do not know https://www.tofugu.com/japanese/learn-hiragana/ (For example, き(ki) looks like a key upside down.) The mnemonics themselves may not be reproduced, but may be reviewed and add responses to each syllabary’s mnemonics. The current textbook does not offer any help in this regard.

    3) The key terms will be “hiragana”, “katakana”, or “kana”. Also, “mnemonics” may be useful in order to find other resources that can be commented on. So far, most of the OER sources on the syllabaries is just a list/chart of them.

    Reply
  7. Mengia Tschalaer (She/her/hers)

    Our students are very diverse and they respond to different learning methods and techniques in different ways. I think as learning facilitators we should have the skill to a) develop classes that are inclusive and that speak to the different learning modes of our students (reading, visual, audio etc.); b) set clear expectations for teacher and students, c) present materials clearly and in an organized manner so students can easily digest it and draw on their notes, study guides, power point presentations etc.; d) present the material in a manner so student can connect with it and see the connection between theory and their surroundings (I am an anthropologist ;-).

    To absorb the learning material, I think our students need to a) work in an organized manner, b) set themselves regular small learning goals and c) develop critical thinking skills by applying the concepts/theories outside of the classroom.

    I like the exercise where students develop their own grading criteria. This allows them to set their own goals that make sense to them and seem realistic and work towards them throughout the course. I can imagine that this kind of student-centered learning will allow them, right from the start, to get a sense of the course and what is expected from them. I would think that this would pair well with the study guide exercise. In developing their own learning criteria and learning roadmap I think that would contribute to their skills to work in an organized manner and setting learning goals.

    Reply

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